Limited information is available on the legal status of induced abortion in Viet Nam in early post-colonial times. What information exists suggests that abortion on request was available North Viet Nam by 1971 - and then extended to the South after 1975.

Previously in South Viet Nam, abortions could be performed for narrowly interpreted medical indications only, as per the 1933 decree enforcing French law.

Viet Nam's Criminal Code contains no abortion provisions, evidence that the procedure has been decriminalized.

The Communist government has since 1988, enforced a strict 'one, or two child policy', with severe fines on above-quota births.

Abortion is therefore legal upon request and is widely used as birth control. Viet Nam's abortion rate is believed to be the highest in Asia. In 1996, it was the highest in the world, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute.